It’s no secret that healthcare in the U.S is expensive. The other day, I went to my doctor and she prescribed me medication. When I went to the pharmacy to pick it up, I was surprised to hear it cost $40. At that point, it was a little too late for me to brainstorm how to save money on prescription medication.

I unhappily handed over my credit card and made a mental note to pay off the charge later. Prescription medication was not an item we were budgeting for, but I know my situation is not unique. I’ve seen my husband and family members pay much more on medications they need.

It’s also important to realize that regular, ongoing prescriptions and refills can really add up. This made me wonder if there are ways to save money on prescription medication. Here are a few savings hacks I found that may help you too.

Choose the Generic Version

Just like with anything you buy, the generic version will likely be cheaper. Asking for the generic form of medication could help you save hundreds of dollars.

In fact, you may want to review your insurance coverage to see if generic medications are covered. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to get them for free or just $10.

Use a Prescription Discount

If you don’t have insurance or just want to maximize your ability to save money on prescription medication, consider trying a prescription discount program. There are quite a few to choose from but the most popular option is GoodRX.

GoodRX is free and convenient since you can pull up the app when you’re in the pharmacy picking up a prescription. WellRX is another great option and they help you save 60% to 80% at most pharmacies.

An option I recently found out about is InsiderRX. They also offer a prescription savings card along with a prescription comparison feature on their site. Just type in the type of medicine you’re looking for, and they’ll show you prices at local pharmacies so you can compare costs.

Use Coupons

One of the easiest ways to save money on your prescription medication is to use coupons. Coupons for over-the-counter medication may come in the mail with your weekly newspaper. However, there are other ways to save on medicine especially if your doctor is prescribing something.

The first thing you can do is see if there’s an over-the-counter version of the medicine. If your symptoms or condition is not severe and your doctor approves of it, they may recommend over-the-counter medicine.

Consider weighing your options especially when it comes to ordering your medicine or supplements online. Pure Prescriptions offers a variety of supplements and medicines along with digital coupons to help you save.

WebMD is another great place to find prescription coupons. Type in the name of the medicine you are looking for, and they’ll pull up a coupon that you may be able to use at different pharmacies. Bring the printed coupon to your pharmacist or show it on your phone.

Apply For Assistance

There may be prescription assistance programs you can apply for to save money on your medication. These programs are usually offered through the government, Medicare, or nonprofit groups, and you may have to meet income requirements.

Check Medicare.gov to see if your state offers a pharmaceutical program that you might qualify for. You can also try searching for the name of your medication followed by the phrase “financial assistance” during your Google search to see what comes up.

Some other well-known prescription assistance programs include:

RX Hope in particular can help advocate for patients who need help affording critical medications. They focus on serving low-income families and can help supplement the cost of your medication or even help you obtain it for free.

Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

I know having a healthy lifestyle won’t prevent some people from having to take prescriptions on a regular basis. There are times when you might get sick or get an infection. Or, you may have a condition that requires you to stay on medication long-term. Anxiety, for example, is not just something that people can wish away, and many do find it helpful to get a prescription from their doctors to help with symptoms.

My husband has asthma and there is little if anything we can probably do to have him avoid getting a refill on his inhaler prescription every few months. However, it’s also important to make sure you’re doing what you can to take care of your health especially as you get older. Doing so could limit the prescriptions you have to take and save you money as a result.

Ask questions and advocate for yourself. If you notice a medication isn’t working or getting you the results you desire, talk to your doctor about other options.

Always ask if there are any lifestyle changes you can make to avoid getting too many prescription medications and having to budget for the added cost. It’s worth a try, and you never know what type of advice your doctor may have for you.

Summary – How to Save Money on Prescription Medication

Prescriptions may be necessary, but they can also by costly and drain your budget. If you don’t already have one, consider getting a prescription discount card. It’s free, and you can use it at most pharmacies to cut costs.

Also, review your current insurance coverage and get familiar with the different types of medication that you may need. If you regularly need prescriptions, it’s a good idea to create a budget category for these costs as well.

How do you save money on prescription medication?

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